As I sat in the back of the scout truck, bumping along an especially pock-marked portion of the highway during our return to Banjul, one of my brothers who sat back there with me - Abdoulie - taught me a new phrase. After a particularly jarring pothole, it is appropriate to mutter "Pouno mega dat!". I gave him an "Oy vey!" in return. See me for the proper pronunciation. That's a completely arbitrary approximation, as there is no standard written form of Mandinka.
My brain is exploding. I've been attending a Friday afternoon service at a Muslim Mosque downtown with my co-worker Mehdi for awhile now, I think I've been 4 times now. I'm looking at Hindu-Christian dialogue via a book recommendation I received a couple weeks ago about a Catholic Sanyasi, a seeming contradiction in terms. I've discovered that I can possibly embrace my Jewish heritage more fully by learning the ways of Messianic Judaism.
I'm arriving very close to my reluctant departure from Chicago. Examining job opportunities for a slight career shift and major community shift into the nourishment of the People of Praise [PDF]. Very reluctant to break the physical ties that I've made to so many incredible people in Chicago. Rockford/IL and South Bend/IN are looming on the horizon, swirling in my thoughts and prayers.
Welcome to Lent!